Polly Costello knows about the dangers of E. coli. Her mother Ruby was one of those who died in the recent outbreak:
“Tomorrow would have been her 82nd birthday if our family had not been eating spinach in late August.”
Costello supports Democratic Senator Dean Florez’s plans to create an inspection program for leafy greens. Florez says it would be run by the Department of Health Services, and paid for by growers through a license program:
“This is not a voluntary, if you’d like to join you can, if you’d like to participate, you should. This is a mandatory, every farm, every time, good agricultural practice bill.”
He says violations could mean a misdemeanor and steep fines. A spokesman for the California Farm Bureau Federation says ensuring food safety is a top priority – but a state mandated program may not be necessary, since handlers and growers are already working to establish guidelines.